Do you ever think about your childhood? Think about what you can remember. Specific memories. Do you remember what you were wearing? Things that were said? How you felt?
I think about this sometimes. I catch myself remembering only parts of my childhood, and the parts that I can remember, the ones that stick out that is, are the ones that don't include happy cheerful over-the-time moments. In fact, the only happy memories I can remember are those where stories are told over and over again. "When I was little....."
So, what I can remember? Always interests me. Memories of my mom pulling out my baby teeth. Those wobbly ones that just wouldn't come out. But? I feared it. Memories of a snake that slithered right by my leg at my grandmother's farm, one that caused me to fear the sight of snakes from there on out. One that caused a nightmare or two growing up. Memories of an argument I had with my mom. One where I can still picture where we were standing, and what was said. Memories of my biological father, the only one memory that I have of him, and it wasn't a good one. Memories of my brother forgetting
I remember good times. Great times. Happiness. Memories. Memories where you sit around at the Christmas table and reminisce and tell stories. I do. But it is amazing to me how the details of those happy memories fade. As though you don't hold onto them as much. However, they are what one envisions a childhood as. One in which you want to press play and put on repeat over and over. One that you want your children to always remember as. A childhood full of happiness. And all the details that go with it.
At the end of the day, I would never say I had a bad childhood. I would say that having a family that loves you, a roof over your head, food on the table, and clothes on your back, already puts me at a place where I could never complain or be ungrateful for due to other children who struggled. However, knowing what I know today, being a parent myself now, I can now understand how actions are important.
How big of a role a parent is.
Overall, I think what I have learned, from my childhood and my experience, is that children tend to remember in greater detail when something bad happens, versus good. Not only do they remember, but it stays with them. It affects them. Even the little things, like what we say. Knowing this, knowing how important our actions are on our children and the childhood that we provide for them, makes my role as a parent that much more important.
I want my children to remember the happy memories. I will fight to provide a home of safety, warmth, and comfort to them. I never want them to have nightmares about past experiences. To have images of sadness or fear. Although, I know I cannot control it all, and lay out this perfect pain-free life for them, I sure want to fight for it.
And I believe that a childhood is one of the most important times of a person's life. I believe it is what molds them. What sets the foundation for their future. How they will be, how they will live their lives. Is it the only factor? No. But I sure do believe it's the greatest of all.
I want to always remember that.
Our children get to live their childhood once. Just once. Make it a good one.